Miami University Equestrian

The progress of Miami University Equestrian

The Summer is Winding Down

As the school year is fast approaching, many things are happening around the barn. Last week head coach Heather Pinnick hosted six hunt seat riders from the Autumn Rose IEA team in Columbus, OH. Each rider participated in the three day camp where they focused on horse show preparation. Flat lessons were held in the mornings and fences lessons in the afternoon. The students also learned about confirmation, different types of equipment and bandaging.


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Autumn Rose Campers

Alongside the Autumn Rose campers, we finished up week three of four of our annual beginner horseback riding summer camp. The ten campers who ranged from eight to twelve years old learned the basics of riding and caring for a horse. At the end of the week, they showed off their skills by painting the parts of the horse on our own trusty steed, Bailey! We are currently in the swing of our last and final week of summer camp 2014!

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Bailey showing off his new look!




Weekend at David’s

This past weekend Miami riders Kayla Akers, Stephen George, Tom Schoen and Jackie Yeager traveled to David Beisel Stables in Goshen, OH with head coach Heather Pinnick.  Miami’s noble steeds Thor, Jack, Caper, Toby and Paris accompanied these avid MUET’ers for a wonderful horse show weekend filled with many accomplishments.

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Kayla and Thor debuted in their first show together in the jumper ring. The two tested the waters in the Childrens/Adult Jumpers, bringing home a 5th and 7th the first day. On day two the pair brought their A game with two 3rd’s and a 1st place in the Mini Prix! Go Kayla and Thor!

He may be big but he can still turn

He may be big but he can still turn

Its all about the matching

Its all about the matching 

Paris acted like the show life was what she was made for. Jackie rode the baby in the Beginner Horse division where they brought home two 1sts and a 3rd the first day and a 2nd and a 3rd on Sunday. Overall the pair was named Champion of the Beginner Horse division for the weekend.




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Miami’s newest addition Toby (Woodford Reserve) competed in the Special Hunter division with Jackie as well. The two ended up claiming a 2nd and a 3rd along with a 3rd in the 1,000 CWD Hunter Classic on Sunday.  What a good boy, Toby!

Jackie and Toby

Jackie and Toby

Such a good boy!

Such a good boy!

Tom Schoen and Caper (Constellation) competed in the Limit division while  fellow Miami rider Stephen George moved up to the Beginner Rider division. Tom and Caper got a 1st in the hack and two 5th’s and 6th’s over fences. Stephen and Jack (Just Jack) received 5th’s across the board and a 6th in the hack. Congratulations boys!

Tom and Caper

Tom and Caper

Stephen and Jack

Stephen and Jack

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Summer Camp

Summer is officially in full swing! This year, Miami University is hosting four weeks of on-site half day summer camp in addition to helping out with the riding section of YMCA Camp Campbell Gard’s summer camp. At both locations the campers are learning the parts of the horse, how to properly care for the horses and basic riding in both Hunt Seat and Western tack.

Camp Campbell Gaurd

Camp Campbell Gard

Camp Campbell Gard’s half day camp is run by Miami’s own Western coach Beth Akers and Amanda Wasser, while the full day/overnight camp is headed by Tom Schoen and Danielle Hume. According to Tom, the different cabins create cheers each week before they head to each meal to see who gets to be first in line for their food. The groups are able to earn spirit points that can accumulate to an ice cream social. Horse camp has won this challenge the past two weeks by turning popular pop songs into songs about the horses and camp!
On our home turf Jackie Yeager and Liz Ector have been teaching  young campers everything there is to know about horses. Some of the weeks activities included a scavenger hunts for different colors and markings on horses in the barn, demonstration by the farrier, and painted the parts of the horse on Bailey. At the end of the week the campers showed off their new riding skills to their parents as they trotted around the ring, went over poles and negotiated through cones.
Bailey loved all the attention

Bailey loved all the attention

Up next, Miami will host two more weeks of half day summer camp July 14-18 and July 21-25!

MUET Alumni Turned Intern

As the years go by and interns move on, the equestrian staff is left finding yet another wonderful addition to our MUET family. This year, I am happy to say that I, Jackie Yeager,  have accepted the position as the new equestrian intern.  After being a part of MUET for four years and having competed in the IHSA all four years, I found myself not wanting to leave.


In case you haven’t already met me, I have been riding for the past seventeen years and competed in the AA and A circuit throughout Oklahoma and Tennessee. During this time, I spent the majority of my time in the hunter ring with the occasional medals before I moved onto the jumpers. When it came time to deciding where I was going to attend college, I followed both of my older sisters footsteps and choose Miami University simply because of the familiarity that I already had with the team and the coaches.

2013 IHSA Nationals

2013 IHSA Nationals

Throughout my college career here at Miami, I had many wonderful opportunities. I competed in Intermediate fences before moving up to the Open fences division ,while also competing in the Open flat division all four years.  I was honored to represent Miami University at IHSA Nationals in 2013 and 2014 in the Intermediate Equitation Over Fences as well as the Collegiate Cup Open Equitation Over Fences.

2014 IHSA Nationals

2014 IHSA Nationals

As part of my position as the equestrian intern, it is now my job to continually keep our blog up to date. I will be keeping  everyone informed on what is happening at the barn, at off site horse shows and add updated team information as the school year approaches. I cannot wait to meet our newest Redhawks in August!

Lindsey Does It Again

This past weekend, Miami’s own Lindsey Carmack traveled to Majestic Farm in  Batavia, OH where she and Danny (owned by Emily Gillispie)  competed in Second and Third Level Tests in hopes to obtain scores towards a USDF Bronze Rider Medal.  A Bronze Medal is the first award given by the USDF to recognize consistency and accomplishment at the Training, First and Second Levels. This is often achieved over many years as well as aboard many different horses.

Lindsey and Danny

Lindsey and Danny

On Saturday, Lindsey and Danny scored a 64% in their Third Level Test and a 71% in their Second Level Test. Lindsey was named the Second Level High Point Rider of the day. Sunday was not much different. Once again, Lindsey rode to the top scoring another 71% in her Second Level Test which ultimately allowed for another Second Level High Point Rider of the day title. What a wonderful and hard working pair. Congratulations Lindsey!

Danny knows he's a superstar

Danny knows he’s a superstar

When asked about the weekend Lindsey stated that “Everyone loved Danny. They kept commenting on his coloring and asking about his breed”. This talented Leopard Appaloosa definitely stands out anywhere he goes!

So what comes next? Lindsey currently has two of the four necessary scores for obtaining her Bronze Medal. The two final necessary scores will be completed at an upcoming USDF show. The pair will soon be heading to Delaware, OH on July 12th, where they will be competing in Third Level Tests 2 and 3, along with Second Level Test 2.  We are all wishing Lindsey and Danny good luck at their next horse show!

The Summer Horse Shows Have Begun!

Head coach Heather Pinnick with Stephen and Jack

Head coach Heather Pinnick posing with Stephen and Jack

This past weekend six Miami riders traveled to Goshen, OH, where they competed in Windfall Farm’s summer  horse show. Miami horses Jack, Butterfly, Pleiades, Butch and Toby were all shining stars while representing the Redhawks. Amanda Wasser, Ashley Dowler, Julia Prus, Stephen George, Tom Schoen, and Taylor Swan all competed, while temporary horse show mom Kayla Akers went along to help out. Thank you Kayla!


Amanda aboard Jack


Stephen warming up Jack

Amanda Wasser and fellow teammate Stephen George brought home many impressive ribbons aboard Jack. Amanda received two 3rd places and a 4th place over fences with a 2nd on the flat in the future hunter division. Next up, Stephen debuted in the crossrail division, where he won both fences classes and received 2nd on the flat. Overall, Stephen was named reserve champion of the crossrail division.

Tom aboard Butch

Tom aboard Butch

Next up, Miami alumni and current intern, Tom Schoen, rode Butch in the beginner rider division. Tom and Butch received a 2nd, 4th, and 7th over fences and 3rd place on the flat. Congrats Tom and Butch!

Taylor and Toby

Taylor and Toby

One of Miami’s newer additions, Toby aka Woodford Reserve, attended his first schooling show as a Redhawk with Taylor Swan aboard. Taylor and Toby showed in the limit rider division.

The Queens

The Queens

Both Ashley Dowler and Julia Prus took two of Miami’s wonderful mares to Windfall, where they swept the Intermediate Adult division. Ashley aboard Butterfly brought home one 1st and two 2nd’s along with a 2nd in the medal. This earned them the reserve champion ribbon! Next, Julia and Pleiades received two 1st place ribbons, a 3rd and a 4th in the medal. Overall, they were named Champion of their division! Congrats to both of you on a wonderful weekend!

Ashley and Butterfly

Ashley and Butterfly




Is it summer yet? Not until camps/clinics/horse show season start!

Although most of the college students go home for summer break, our staff and equine team here at the Equestrian Center are just gearing up for another busy season. After a few weeks out in pasture, many of our herd will come back home to the barn for summer camp, horse shows, and clinics. After a  three year hiatus to accommodate construction, Miami will be hosting summer camp on site- yay!

Miami Summer camp session #1 2009 007

In addition to camp, Miami will have several other opportunities available for local equestrians of all ages. On June 6th from 4-8 pm and June 7th from 8-12 pm, Miami Equestrian will be offering a 4H open show preparation clinic. Students will work on showmanship, horsemanship, and equitation. Miami can house your horse overnight. This is a great opportunity for riders on the open show circuit to brush up on their skills before heading to the shows! For registration, contact Beth Akers at

This year, we are offering four weeks of half-day camp run by Miami staff with our fabulous and patient group of horses. Camp will run from 8:00 AM-noon, full of activities from learning about equine first aid, feeding, and care along with hours spent in the saddle. The following weeks are available to sign up:

June 9th-13th

June 16th-20th

July 14th-18th

July 21st-25th

Miami Summer camp session #1 2009 019

Students of all ability levels will be comfortable at our camp, as our range of horses and highly capable instructors will be able to adjust to all riding levels. Beginners will start from the basics and will ride western, but students with experience will also have the opportunity to ride hunt seat or dressage, depending on a riding skills assessment. Campers can be aged from 8-18. To register, contact

Miami staff also runs the horse camps offered at YMCA Camp Campbell Gard- learn more at their website,

The farm will also be hosting their first dressage schooling show on June 21 as well as a dressage clinic on August 2-3. For more information, contact Lindsey Carmack at



Flying High: RedHawks Return From IHSA Nationals

What an exciting season this has been! Congratulations are in order to the Miami Hunt Seat Team on a 9th place finish at IHSA Nationals. Representing the RedHawks were hunt seat riders Charlotte Tate, Allie Drost, Jackie Yeager, Kayla Akers, Alex Roe, Rachel McConell, Helena Kervinen, Kylie Fleming. On the western side,  rider Sam Kershner placed in the Intermediate horsemanship, and Miami alum Mary Forster also showed, taking Reserve National Champion in the Alumni Reining!

The Miami Hunt Seat team with Coach Heather Pinnick

The Miami hunt seat team representatives at Nationals with Coach Heather Pinnick

Jackie Yeager placed 9th in the Team Open Fences, her second time showing at Nationals and her senior year appearance in the IHSA. Of riding Skidmore’s Tony, Jackie told me,  “he was perfect. He’s 19 and Skidmore just got him in December, but he was like riding any of their horses since he was so willing to do anything I asked.” When I encouraged Jackie to share words of wisdom for MUET at Nationals next year, her suggestion was ” I’d tell the team to just have fun! It’s a great honor to be able to go so leave the nerves at home and enjoy your ride.” Easier said than done, right? Congratulations on a great show season and career with MUET, Jackie.


Jackie Yeager with Skidmore’s Tony

Senior Allie Drost showed in the Team Open Flat and in the Individual Open Flat. For the Individual, both Charlotte Tate and Allie drew Roxette, a beautiful grey from Centenary College, and in the Team class, Allie rode the sweetly named Sunbear from Cazenovia to a 7th place ribbon. Allie shared that “all the horses were amazing and well behaved!” and wanted to say thank you to all the schools who brought horses. “As a senior and someone who went to Nationals all three of the years the team went, I hope the team continues to do awesome in the future. It was fun going with a team that is so young, Jackie and I were the only seniors. Also, just want to point out the fact that it takes the entire team to get to Nationals, so I hope everyone realizes what a great year we had overall!!!” Congratulations on a great season and career with MUET to Allie and all of our graduating seniors. 

Allie with Centenary's

Allie with Centenary’s Roxette

Allie and Jackie have aged swiftly these past few months. The stress of senior life

Allie and Jackie have aged swiftly these past few months. The stress of second-semester-senior life.

Team Intermediate Fences and Flat were both entered by MUET rider Alex Roe, who took 9th in the Fences and an honorable mention on the flat. Rider Charlotte Tate qualified for Individual Intermediate Flat, taking home a 10th place ribbon.

Alex with

Alex Roe

Charlotte with Roxette

Charlotte with Roxette

Rachel McConnell rode in the Team Novice Fences, a freshman this year at Miami. Entering the ring with Skidmore’s Charly (she described him as “an awesome draw”), Rachel advised “how important it was to not let nerves get in the way of riding.  There were several good riders before me who made big mistakes simply because their nerves got to them.” I asked Rachel if she would have done anything differently, looking back on her class. “I was very happy with my ride, but looking back on it I wish I would have ridden every step a little more because I feel like I got a little ahead of myself during my ride,” Rachel shared. “For the team going to Nationals next year, I would just say make sure you practice a lot and work hard at home, that way at the horse show you can relax and enjoy your ride!” Sage advice, Rachel! 


Rachel with Charly

In the Team Novice Flat, Kayla Akers showed for Miami with a great ride, earning an honorable mention. Helena Kervinen showed in the Team Walk-Trot-Canter, also earning an honorable mention, and the team was rounded out by Kylie Fleming in the Team Walk Trot. Kylie placed the highest of all the RedHawks, earning a second place ribbon as Reserve National Champion in Walk-Trot.


Kayla Akers

Kylie with Bob Cacchione, coach Heather Pinnick, and ??

Kylie with Bob Cacchione and coach Heather Pinnick

On the western side of the competition, junior Sam Kershner showed Jay-R in the Intermediate Horsemanship. It was Sam’s first time at Nationals, and in the words of coach Beth Akers, “she’s homegrown!”. Before coming to Miami, Sam had never shown horses before, and has moved through the classes after starting in Intermediate I. Beth was thrilled to share that Sam had placed in the top 10 in the country. Congratulations to Sam and Beth on a successful trip!

Sam with coach Beth and Bob Cacchione

Sam with coach Beth and Bob Cacchione

Nationals- Sam and Jay-R

Sam with Jay-R

Nationals- beth mustache

Coach Beth Akers has a rare serious moment

Miami was also beautifully represented at IHSA Nationals by six of our herd- our horses joined the array needed to compete in all the classes in Harrisburg. Butterfly, Butch, Pleiades, Unicon, Cody, and Toby made the trip a few days early to acclimate and prepare for the horse show, with Director Lori Cramer, coach Lindsey Carmack, and student Jessi Thorne.


After their arrival in PA, Lindsey, Jessi, and alum Jamie Donovan worked the horses daily to prepare them for the grueling task ahead. In the words of Lori Cramer, our horses “represented Miami and the quality program, care, riding and coaching we offer.” Several of our herd placed in the ribbons, with Butch taking second place in the walk-trot, fourth and fifth in the walk, trot, canter, Toby received a fourth and fifth on the flat, Cody received a third in the alumi flat and fourth and fifth respectively.  Unicon placed in the top ten in the walk trot canter and alumni flat,  and Butterfly won the Individual Intermediate Fences, along with two second place ribbons on the flat. One of the team members confided in me that “Lindsey cried when Butterfly got a ribbon for winning her class, it was the cutest thing ever!” 

Butterfly celebrates her big win with Miami riders. Lindsey must have excused herself due to tears

Butterfly celebrates her big win with Miami riders. Lindsey must have excused herself due to tears


Secret lucky charm?

Secret lucky charm? Only a real woman could carry that mustache so well, Butterfly.

A few years ago at IHSA Nationals in Lexington, Kentucky, large foam printed faces of the IHSA’s Executive Director Bob Cacchione began appearing in the crowd. Bob seemed to be everywhere (as in real life, which is also the case) and the tradition continues.  A fitting tribute to Bob, who has been driving the IHSA for many years.

Nationals- Giant Bob Head

Congratulations to the entire MUET family on a great year. We couldn’t fly so high without all of your support and hard work. Stay tuned for summer updates!

Miami horses know how to take a break.

Miami horses certainly know how to take a break.


Dressage Team Returns From IDA Nationals

After a highly competitive season within the region, the Miami dressage team packed in a van and headed to IDA Nationals at Averett University April 12th and 13th. There were twelve schools in attendance.



Stretching before you ride is always a good idea.

With such strong teams competing from all over the country, Miami had a great show and finished in 9th place . MUET was represented by four riders- Emily Gillespie (First Level), Jeana-Rae Schaper (Upper Training), Natalie Davis (Lower Training), and Katie Forrester (Intro).

Emily Gillespie riding Daniel

Emily Gillespie riding Daniel


Jeana-Rae Schaper


Natalie Davis


As the winner of her division, Jeana-Rae also showed on the individual day, earning a fantastic 6th place.

The girls had a great time traveling and were supported by lots of friends and family. Cookies and treats were in abundance and the RedHawks flew high on the sugar rush.

Silly IDA Nationals

Congratulations on a great season and a strong representation of MUET at Nationals this year!


Nationals-Bound: Must be the Mustaches

There must be something in the air here at the Equestrian Center, because representatives from all three disciplines will be riding at Nationals this year. Of course, by ‘something’ I mean hard work, dedication, extra lessons, lots of sweat, and fruit wearing mustaches.

Hunt seat Zones 2014

The hunt seat team traveled to Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio this past weekend to compete at Hunt Seat Zones- the top two teams advance to Nationals in Harrisburg, PA in a few weeks’ time. Riders Charlotte Tate, Allie Drost, Jackie Yeager, Kayla Akers, Dani Ross, Alex Roe, Rachel McConell, Helena Kervinen,  and Kylie Fleming represented the Miami team in an effort to secure the hunt seat bid for Nationals. With about thirty schools in attendance, competition was certainly fierce for the top slots. Miami finished as Reserve Champions of Zone 6, just a hair away from winning the zone.

The RedHawks had some great rides, with Allie Drost and Jackie Yeager both finishing in the blue in the Open. Allie was 1st in the Open Flat for Miami and 2nd on the Open Flat as an individual, which means she will be showing at Nationals as an individual and for the team! Jackie Yeager took 1st in the team Open Fences, 4th in the Open Flat as an individual and 6th Open Fences as an individual.

Jackie Yeager Zones

Charlotte Tate won the Intermediate Flat as an individual, sending her to Harrisburg as the zone champion in that class. Alex Roe finished 1st in the Intermediate Fences and 2nd in the Intermediate Flat for Miami- great job! Kayla Akers and Dani Ross both finished in 3rd place- Kayla in the Novice Flat and Dani in the Individual Walk/Trot/Canter. Rachel McConnell and Helena Kervinen had good rides and finished in 5th- Rachel for the team in Novice Fences and Helena for the team Walk/Trot/Canter. Finishing out the day was Kylie Fleming  in the Walk/Trot, who had a solid ride and took home 4th place.

In the words of Charlotte Tate,  “the 2nd place team, us, and the 3rd place team were really close, 2 point difference, so it all came down to the last class whether we would move on to nationals as a team or not. Alex Roe pulled through on the last class by placing 2nd, confirming our 2nd place spot and the fact that we were moving on to Nationals. The team’s excitement when we realized we were moving on was overwhelming.”

Now, of course there is always a talisman, a magic charm, a foam sword or a lucky fruit that accompanies MUET to a horse show. At Zones, the mustaches were a hit- all team members and coaches Lori and Heather drew mustaches on their hands to bring good luck (and good cheer, for that matter).

Zones Mustaches

The hunt seat team and Charlotte Tate and Allie Drost as individuals as well as Sam Kershner in western  who made it through at Semi-Finals will be heading to Harrisburg for IHSA Nationals. Congratulations to all riders and coaches on a fantastic season.

Zones ribbons 2014


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